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Children's 'attitudes to sex education has altered'

CHANGE: Children's charity Barnardo's reveals a change in teenagers attitude towards sex education

SEVEN IN 10 children in England think the government should ensure all children have school lessons on sex and relationships, new figures reveal.

These stats were complied in a new pol of 11-15 year olds by Barnardo's, a childrens' charity based in West Midlands.

The poll also revealed that three quarters (74%) believe all children would be safer if they had age-appropriate classes on the subject.

The results support calls by the children’s charity for the government to introduce compulsory age appropriate sex and relationships education through the Children and Social Work Bill. Barnardo’s wants MPs to put pressure on the government to make the change while the Bill is debated in the Commons.

More than 9 in 10 children surveyed online (96%) said it was important for them to understand the dangers of being online so they can stay safe. While 94 per cent said they wanted to know the risks of sharing images of themselves with a stranger online, according to the YouGov poll of nearly 1,000 youngsters.

Speaking on these results, Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “The overwhelming majority of children who answered our poll believe they would be safer if they had age appropriate sex and relationships lessons in school."

"It's time to listen to children who are clearly telling us that they need help in understanding the digital dangers and the risks of sharing images of themselves with strangers. Online grooming is a very real danger facing all children and nearly half of the girls polled said they were worried about strangers contacting them online.

Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Maria Miller also added: “These findings underline the importance of ensuring all school children have compulsory lessons on sex and relationships appropriate for their age.

“It’s even more striking that children themselves are calling on the government to make sure they receive high quality SRE lessons so they can help keep themselves safe. The case for compulsory sex and relationship education has never been stronger.”

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